Thunder Cloud Marries Again
by Sam Blowsnake
Hočąk-English Interlinear Phonetic Text
(310) In those days he (Thunder Cloud) was a poisoner, and he used to travel in the night, they say. That sort of thing he was going do. At night, around 11 o'clock, it was, he got ready. A group of people by the name "B[lowsnake]," these he was going to poison there, he said. We laid there listening. We were lying in the lodge and then outside he made some noise. Because we thought he was a poisoner, we were afraid of him. That he himself was in control of our household is what he said. They couldn't accomplish anything, Because we knew him to be a poisoner, we were afraid of him. He came from among the various spirits, a reincarnated man, someone who, as long as we did not displease him, would not do anything to us. So we did whatever he said. That's the way it was.
(311) He had been married to my oldest sister, but he would marry again the second oldest, he said. Where she had been, there where Earthmaker dwells, his wife was living there. He said that my sister, the second wife who was above, resembled her. "I think that she must be what I left behind when I came," he thought. He went up above to where Earthmaker resides to see his wife. He noticed that she was still there. "I saw you there among the humans. How can it be? I thought, since I caught of glimpse of you when I came back," he said. "Where was I to go? You left me here when you went away, and I have remained up to the present time," she said. The woman said, "What person do you mean? Bring her here to me," she said. Thus it was she he meant, my sister, the second one that resembled his wife up above; and for that reason he wished to marry her, he said. He was both a holy man and a poisoner, so they let him marry her. It was because they were afraid that if he they didn't permit him, he would poison them. They let him marry her because he was a holy man. Thus, he married two women, he used to say.
Up above where Earthmaker lives, where I came from, here Earthmaker said to me that I was to bring back four men, he said, and I was to look for men of virtue. (312) He did not mean the quick tempered sort or those of changeable ideas, but really virtuous one, that kind I would take back. Thus, he was to go back to Earthmaker taking four of them, he used to say.1
Commentary. "poisoner" — this term is conventionally used for a witch.
"his wife was living there" — she is a spirit being. When she was reincarnated on earth, she was Sam Blowsnake's (deceased) eldest sister. His subsequent remark shows that Thunder Cloud was married to her when he himself was in Spiritland. Both of them were true spirits (waxopini) and not ghosts.
"resembled her" — Radin says, "It was frequently believed that the resemblance of some living person, especially of some young person, to an older person who has died, meant that the younger one was the reincarnation of the older one. For this reason, in adopting a child to replace one that had died, parents always tried to find someone who closely resembled the deceased."2
"when I came" (húną) — J. O. Dorsey recorded that húną means, "to be coming hither, to this place, not his home."3 Thunder Cloud puts it this way because, as a spirit (waxopini), his true, original home is in the heavens, and coming here to earth is therefore a place other than his home.
Links: Witches, Spirits, Earthmaker, Supernatural & Spiritual Power.
Stories: mentioning Thunder Cloud: Thunder Cloud is Blessed; mentioning witches or warlocks: The Witch Men's Desert, The Thunder Charm, The Wild Rose, The Seer, Turtle and the Witches, Great Walker and the Ojibwe Witches, The Claw Shooter, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Migistéga’s Magic, Mijistéga and the Sauks, Migistéga's Death, The Mesquaki Magician, The Tap the Head Medicine, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, Battle of the Night Blessed Men and the Medicine Rite Men, The Magical Powers of Lincoln's Grandfather, The Hills of La Crosse, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara (v. 2), Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle, Potato Magic, Young Rogue's Magic; mentioning poisons: Hare Visits the Blind Men, The Creation of Evil, The Island Weight Songs, The Seer, The Shaggy Man, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 3), The Shell Anklets Origin Myth (v. 1), Ocean Duck, The Diving Contest, A Wife for Knowledge, Great Walker's Medicine (antidote); mentioning Earthmaker: The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, The First Snakes, Tobacco Origin Myth, The Creation Council, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, The Journey to Spiritland, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Seven Maidens, The Descent of the Drum, The Spider's Eyes, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Fourth Universe, Šųgepaga, The Fatal House, The Twin Sisters, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Elk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Masaxe War, The Two Children, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Gift of Shooting, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Stone Heart, The Wild Rose, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Lame Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed, The Hočąk Migration Myth, The Necessity for Death, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The War among the Animals, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, Blue Mounds, Lost Lake, The Hočągara Migrate South, The Spirit of Gambling, Turtle and the Giant, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Bird Origin Myth, Black and White Moons, Redhorn's Sons, Holy Song, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Death Enters the World, Man and His Three Dogs, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Story of the Thunder Names, The Origins of the Milky Way, Trickster and the Dancers, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, The Creation of Evil, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka, Song to Earthmaker, The Blessing of the Bow, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, The Origin of the Cliff Swallow; about journeys to and from Spiritland: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Journey to Spiritland, Sunset Point, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Lame Friend, Two Roads to Spiritland, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Holy One and His Brother, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Foolish Hunter, Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, White Wolf, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, The Petition to Earthmaker, Wears White Feather on His Head, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Man Whose Wife was Captured.
Themes: a human being physically travels to Spiritland without having died: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Sunset Point, Snowshoe Strings, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Star Husband, White Wolf, Waruǧápara, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Shaggy Man, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Boy who would be Immortal, Rainbow and the Stone Arch (v. 2), Trickster Concludes His Mission; attempting to procure a bride through intimidation: The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Bluehorn's Nephews, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Heną́ga and Star Girl.
1 Paul Radin, "Personal Reminiscences of a Winnebago Indian," Journal of American Folk-Lore, 26, #102 (1913): 293-318 (Sam Blowsnake narrative: 310-312).
2 Radin, "Personal Reminiscences of a Winnebago Indian," 311 nt 1.
3 James Owen Dorsey, Winnebago-English Vocabulary and Winnebago Verbal Notes, 4800 Dorsey Papers: Winnebago (3.3.2) 321 [old no. 1226] (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, 1888) 82 pp.